Corporate Autonomy and Buyer—Supplier Relationships: The Case of Unsafe Mattel Toys [Book Review]

Journal of Business Ethics 97 (4):517 - 534 (2010)
This article analyses supplier-buyer relationships where the suppliers adapt to the buyers' needs and expectations to gain mutual advantages. In some cases, such closely knit relationships lead to violations of the autonomy of one or both partners. A concept of corporate autonomy (CA) is developed to analyze this problem. Three different facets can be distinguished: rule autonomy, executive autonomy, and control autonomy. A case study of Mattel's problems with lead-contaminated toys produced in China shows that the CA of buyer and supplier can be restricted as a result of a dysfunctional partnership involving a moral dilemma
Keywords corporate autonomy  supplier–buyer relationships  supplier development  outsourcing  Mattel, Inc.  China  social and environmental standards
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DOI 10.2307/40929511
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